Bohdan Klid to PBS ombudsman, Michael Getler, in response to professor Steven Cohen’s comments made during the PBS Newshour program (3 March 2014) on Ukraine’s new government.
I am writing to register a complaint about professor Steven Cohen’s comments broadcast on the PBS Newshour on 3 March 2014 (Seattle station). Dr. Cohen said that the new government in Ukraine was illegitimate and extremist. On what evidence would he base this claim? Such a statement is strongly at odds with the position of all of the EU states, the US, and Canada, which have indicated support for the provisional authorities in Kyiv. Moreover, it is now abundantly clear that the former president Viktor Yanukovych fled the country to avoid answering before Ukraine’s parliament for his government’s decisions to use deadly force against demonstrators. Also, there is ample evidence to support charges of fraud, embezzlement and corruption involving tens of billions of dollars. Finally, 371 members of parliament (of 450 elected) voted to remove him from office. In short, professor Cohen’s comments are nothing short of irresponsible. In the context of the extremely dangerous situation, following incursions by Russia’s troops into Crimea and threats of invasion of eastern Ukraine, they are also extremely reckless.
Dr. Bohdan Klid, Assistant Director
Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies
430 Pembina Hall, University of Alberta
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